Tuesday, December 6, 2016

November Newsletter & Slideshow

https://goo.gl/photos/yyNkkf9qrkSCXrVT6

Hamilton Newsletter
November 2016
FAMILY:  Hard to believe November is done and 2016 is almost done, too! On the 6th, we had Oaklyn's special baptism day. The Bensons stayed overnight on Saturday  (we got to go on a double-date to Chilis!) & the family showed up on Sunday - the Potts, the Edwards, the Simons, the Devenishs, the Reeds, and the Hamiltons. We had yummy soup and desserts and we had a wonderful time visiting. Oaklyn was so good the whole time and we feel so blessed to have her in our family. The 7th was Link's 4th birthday & we did something extra special this year. See his section for more details.  On the 9th, we finally took the plunge and all the girls got their hair chopped!! (except Noelle - she would NOT cooperate, or Oaklyn who doesn't quite need a haircut yet :) ) It's so much nicer in the mornings not to have the tears and tantrums about having their long hair brushed. The 11th was Veteran's Day. Jason had the day off work & we let the girls have the day off school and we had a lot of fun! First, we went to IHOP for a yummy breakfast :) Then we met Grandma & Grandpa Potts at the new amazing park - Tontaquint all-abilities park -  by their St. George home. We played on all the equipment, rode the train, and enjoyed the sunshine :) After the park we went to Grandma & Grandpa's & had lunch & naps and then we headed to Glitter Mountain - it was about 45 minutes away from the Potts, and we didn't have a lot of time there before the sun went down, but we did have a lot of fun! We brought our hammers, screwdrivers, etc and were able to bring a lot of the gypsum crystals home with us. What a fun day! Saturday the 12th was the Storybook Parade & it never disappoints! So many fun floats and things to see.  That night we had a fun time playing a family game of Phase 10, which Kezia bought with her birthday money. We got our first snow of the year on the 16th & we all had fun playing in it! And, of course, drinking hot cocoa :) For Thanksgiving this year, it was at the Simon's home, early in the day. We loved seeing family that we don't get to see much and visiting. It was a great day of eating, sleeping, football (for daddy), and visiting with family. We have so much to be grateful for this year & feel very blessed. Friday after Thanksgiving was Gary Krueger's celebration of life (Aunt Leah's husband). We are saddened by his loss and pray for Leah to find comfort. Saturday, on the way home from SLC, we stopped by Scheels and rode the ferris wheel and looked at the fishes. And rode the escalators :) Afterwards, we got some ice cream at McDonald's for the drive home. After we got home, we worked on putting up Christmas :) On the 29th for Activity Days, we watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas and made gingerbread houses.  In between all of this, we've been working on making & buying Christmas gifts, and showing the rental. We were thankfully able to find some new renters and hope they'll be good ones.

Jason:  Jason has been busy helping at the rental, showing it, working & helping Ireland with her math homework. He's been in charge of getting ready for quite a few meetings, so he's been there pretty late some nights.

Heidi:  Heidi joined the gym at the beginning of November & has really enjoyed it. She usually goes to 3-4 classes a week and has seen definite strength gains. The gym daycare is really nice so she can go after she drops the older girls off at school. She got to read a couple good books this month - All the Light we Cannot See and Me Before You. Both good. Working on Link's cars this year was really good to help channel Heidi's love and reduce her grief. On Link's birthday, as Heidi was pulling into the gym - right before she turned off the car - the radio announcer said that there was a dedication to Heidi from her sweetheart and she would know what it meant. Then they played  A Thousand Years by Christina Perri. Heidi sat in her van and listened to it, sobbing the entire time. It meant so much.

McKinley:
-McKinley has had a crush on Orlando for a few years now. She's now in a drama class with him and has been able to talk to him more, instead of just admiring from afar :) She even spent a couple recesses walking around with him and getting to know him. She said he's a little different than she thought, but she still likes him :)
-Mom got to go to McKinley's 5th grade maturation program this month. They showed a cute, informative video, and had question time and then treats. McKinley knew pretty much everything, but it was good to be together and review the changes that have happened and will continue to happen as McKinley's grows up!
-McKinley continues to really enjoy piano & is doing so well. She's working on Christmas songs and it's really brought the spirit of Christmas into our home! She's also been learning more with the cello and has got to start using her bow in class.
-McKinley's been cooking more, too. She made yummy chicken enchiladas as well as chocolate chip cookies all by herself. Great job McKinley!
-McKinley has been feeling a bit stressed out lately with all she wants to do, so we sat down & listed all the things she feels like she doesn't have time for (walking Sydney, working on her Patriot award, Christmas gifts, etc), then we went over her days & tried to see where she could work in some of those goals.  

Ireland:
-Ireland made some really cool drawings this month. She drew some peacocks and also some fashion outfits. Grandma even commented on how she has quite an eye for design. She was trying to make the guest room look nice for Burton to come & she did a great job.
-Ireland brought Oaklyn in and set her on the couch and then went down the hall. Mom came in and heard a loud thump. She had fallen off the couch :( Ireland felt really bad and said she wouldn't ever do that again.
-Apparently there was some friend issues this month with Hannah and Raquel. She said that she and Mahina were in the middle of it and she wished they weren't fighting with each other.
-Ireland is good at math, she just sometimes goes too fast and misses some details. Dad has been spending sometimes 2-3 hours with her at night. We talked with Ireland's math teacher, Mr. Carter, and he supports us focusing on the basics and not taking so much of our time as a family at night.
-Ireland started Polar Expeditions this month and gets to go to an art class.

Kezia:
-Kezia got to go to Ruby's Star Wars themed birthday party this month. She had a great time!
-One day Kezia said that she had a dream and they were counting in Spanish :) Guess that means that her Spanish immersion is working :)
-On the day of Oaklyn's blessing, everyone was eating and talking and a lot of kids were in the backyard playing. Kezia & Logan were on the swings. Mom looked over and saw them kiss! Then everyone was looking & they kissed AGAIN! Despite this kissing episode, she still maintains that she has lots of crushes, the most strong one apparently being Jaxon Bealer.
-Kezia bought the game Phase 10 to give away to family, but we ended up playing it as a family & had a lot of fun!
-Kezia has been so good letting Noelle sleep in her room - especially since Noelle makes a lot of messes, is loud, and often hits or pulls hair. Kezia sometimes goes to sleep with Ireland or on the pull-out bed if she gets too bad, but she really is patient & loving with her.

Link:
Happy 4th birthday this month, or sweet baby boy. To help channel her grief, in addition to donating to the Ronald McDonald House, she decided to put it out there on Facebook, asking for addresses for boys born in 2012 so she could send Matchbox cars to them. It was hard, but also so healing to see videos, texts, and pictures posted of little boys getting their cars. We sent probably 30 cars out and used #LoveforLink as our hashtags. We are so happy that we were able to make other little boys happy on your birthday, our Link. And of course we brought about 4 cars to your bench for you as well.  We also let go of balloons and ate at the Ronald McDonald house & watched your slideshow. We miss you SO SO much, Link. We can't wait until we can be reunited again. We hope you felt our love for you on your special day.  

Noelle:
-Whenever Noelle sees a picture of Link, she points to it & says "Look, it's Oaklyn!"
-When we watched Link's slideshow, Noelle cried almost the whole time. She kept saying Link Link Link. She still says every time when she wakes up & we asked her what she dreamed about, she says Link.
-Noelle has been more of a helper this month! She is good at setting out the table with bowls, plates & utensils. And if she sees mom starting to cook, she will say "can I help?"
-Noelle had a LOT of anxiety at the beginning of the month. She did NOT want to go to nursery or gym daycare and she would SCREAM and SCREAM. At gym daycare, she would cry and sit by the gate the entire time, waiting for mom to come. It was really hard to watch her struggle so much with separation. But we kept going and little by little, she has gotten better. Last time we went to gym daycare, she even said "I want to get out so I can go to gym daycare!" and she colored a picture & played with cars & afterwards she says "I had so much fun at gym daycare!" She really likes it now - she is just really protective of her sister Oaklyn. If any other child comes & touches her, she will say "no! Oaklyn is MY baby! - and push their hand away." Mom is just really glad that she is not so anxious any more.
-One morning at 4am, Kezia came in mom and dad's room & told them that she was puking. Mom went in & tried to help & hoped it was just a fluke, but unfortunately not :( She had 5+ days of puking. The first few days, she couldn't keep anything down. Then she could finally keep some fluids down. But she really lost quite a bit of weight and we were so sad to see her so sick & not even eat any of her favorite foods. Mom finally took her to the doctor, but it was just a nasty virus. THANKFULLY, no one else got it & we were able to go to SLC for Thanksgiving.
-It was so sad to see Noelle so sick, but was kind of nice to have a rest of her mischief. Once she felt better, she was back to her old tricks, including using marker on Grandma & Grandpa's couches :( 
-When we leave gym daycare now, Noelle with wave and say to the caregiver "Goodbye Shawndi! Thanks for coming! Come again and see us!"
-Noelle is starting to get good at dressing herself - she can put on her pullups by herself and her pants!
-We are so sad that Noelle's fabulous sleep schedule is no more. She used to ask for naps. Now, she only naps once or twice a week & her bedtime keeps getting later & later. And she won't go to sleep without someone :(
-Noelle still LOVES her cars. She carries them with her constantly, and she likes to put them in between the black keys on the piano :)
-Noelle also still LOVES puzzles. She (literally) can put probably 45 of the 50 states together on the puzzle.

OAKLYN:
-Oaklyn's special blessing day was on the 6th of November. So many people came to support our family and hold our beautiful Oaklyn. Daddy gave such a sweet blessing, talking about how she had waited for a very long time to come to earth and how she has great things in store for her. We are so excited to see all those things and so grateful that she has come to our family. She did so well with the blessing and everyone holding her afterwards. We love our baby O!
-After the blessing, the Simon's were taking turns with Oaklyn. Caden (2) yelled out "I want to hold baby Oatmeal!"
-We finally came up with at least a part of Oaklyn's bedtime song (to the tune of You are my Sunshine):
You are our Oaklyn
Our Sunshine Oaklyn
You make us happy, when we are blue
You'll never know dear
How much we love you
We're so thankful God gave us you.
-Almost every time mommy posts a picture of Oaklyn, multiple people will comment on how much she looks like Link.
-Ireland put you on the couch & you rolled off onto the ground :( Lots of tears.
-Oaklyn is getting so much better at using her hands this month. She is starting to grab at everything. She's really mastered her hanging gym and uses her feet, too, to kick at them and make them spin. She also, of course, loves putting her hands in her mouth and sucking on her fingers.
-She is such a talker now, too & we LOVE her squeals and squeaks.
-She's kind of regressed with sleeping, or she's going through a growth spurt. Either way, she's wanting to eat every 2 hours now - weather at night or day. Her naps are really still sporatic, too. We never know when or if she's going to take a long nap.
-She took a shower for the first time with daddy and really loved it! She didn't want to get out!
-She still doesn't like tummy time, but her head is really getting stronger & she can lift it up and look around.
-She has started using the jumper and the exersaucer & seems to enjoy both of them.
-Oaklyn has just started putting her head on your shoulder when she's tired. It's so cute. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Hamilton Pictures 2016

https://goo.gl/photos/yLHx1HhrURFXF1BVA

October Newsletter & Slideshow

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Hamilton Newsletter
October
FAMILY:  We really had a fun, fabulous October this year :) The first weekend in October was General Conference and mom made the traditional Ebbelskivers on Sunday morning. We loved being a family & listening to the words of the General Authorities. We got the van fixed this month (the gears were wobbly) and it was quite the circus act trying to figure out school carpool, lessons, errands, etc, with the truck which doesn't fit our whole family. Grateful that it's over with for now! We watched the Hillstead's dog Raffa early in October & the girls had fun with the energy of a puppy :) On the 8th, we got family pictures taken in St. George. We took them in the same spot that we took them 5 years ago when we moved to Southern Utah. It was so fun to see the changes in our family since 2011. But - whew! - we're glad pictures are over for another year! On the 14th, we let the girls have a late-over & they all had a fun time :) The 15th was the annual Wave of Light event for Share. We loved going & hearing stories & having hot cocoa and letting go of balloons. On the 18th, we headed up north to enjoy our earned reward! The girls entirely filled up our container with jelly beans (we had to rethink that method of counting) or puff balls, each representing an act of kindness toward a family member. We are so proud of our girls & definitely noticed a change in our family when we were more kind. We hope the "killing contention with kindness" theme keeps going long after this month :) So - Lagoon was VERY much enjoyed on the 19th of October. The weather was so perfect and we even got to run into some friends while we were there, including the Hooks, the Goddards, and Heidi's friend from HS - Julie Cook. It was a lot of fun and even Oaklyn & Noelle had fun and were good - taking naps in the stroller. The fun didn't end after Lagoon, though.  First, mom and dad got to go to the Draper Temple while the girls did puppet shows at Grandma Potts'. Then, we headed to the Benson cabin for more good times with our friends - we enjoyed 4-wheeling, roasting marshmallows under a starlit sky, playing games, watching movies, celebrating Kezia & Logan's birthdays, going on their pond boat, eating yummy food & just unplugging & visiting. We always have such a great time there. We stopped by Richfield on the way home & we got to visit with the Devenishs & Reeds On the 25th, we had an Activity Days Halloween party, complete with yummy treats, dry ice root beer, and fun games. We had all the girls come & it was so much fun! The 26th was Kezia's 7th birthday! See her section for more details on her fun day. Saturday, the 29th, Heidi took the girls trick or treating on Main Street. They got to play games, get candy, and show off their costumes. Good times! We finished The Witches by Roald Dahl right before Halloween & it was fun to read -we might make that a new tradition!  Sunday the 30th, we carved our pumpkins, and the 31st, of course, was Halloween! The Potts and GG came down and we got to see all the schoolgirls in their costumes at their schools for their parades. That evening, they went to the Gregersons for a piniata bust and then trick or treating with dad while Oaklyn & mommy handed out candy. The weather has really been fantastic this year and we have really been enjoying it. Mom and dad have also been busy this month showing the rental - hoping to get a new renter by next month in our upstairs apartment.

Jason:  Jason has been busy this month with work, Elders Quarum responsibilities, rental needs, and honey-do lists :) But he did get to go on a dirt bike ride with the EQ and the High Priest group. They rode to Kolob Reservior and beyond and stopped at a cabin for lunch. He had a great time. He also has been somewhat accident prone this month, hurting his elbow and spraining his ankle. It was swollen for almost 3 weeks - & he walked all over Lagoon with it :( - we're glad it's doing better & hope it healed okay!

Heidi:  Heidi had a lot of fun this month, going to Lagoon, having a mom/sister lunch date, a temple date, and going to the cabin and just enjoying fall. On the 12th, Heidi went to the Relief Society make & take night & had fun making crafts & talking with friends. Heidi also stayed busy getting things ready for Oaklyn's blessing next month.  Heidi is SO happy that things finally got worked out for carpooling to East. So, right now, she only has to pick Kezia up one day a week, instead of every day.
 
McKinley:
-McKinley's SEPs went well this month - Mrs. Isom said she's doing well, and she's working hard at memorizing her math facts so she can get onto higher levels with that.
-McKinley was the MC for Leadership Team at an assembly.
-McKinley & Micaela have become very good friends. Maybe a little TOO good? Mrs. Isom had to separate them into different tables in class. McKinley invited Micaela to our late-over & they had fun.
-Mom recommended a book called When Crickets Cry to McKinley after she finished it, and McKinley REALLY loved it. She raved about it often :) She says it's one of her very favorite books now.
-McKinley is still doing well with her cello - she gets to start using the bow now, which she's excited about :)
-She was SO excited to be Hermione Granger for Halloween this year. Mom bought her a nice Gryffindor robe and tie and even waved her hair to look like Hermione. She was maybe a little too excited for Halloween, though, and didn't get to sleep the night before until almost 1am :( She went trick-or-treating with Olivia and Emmy. They walked around a lot, but didn't get a ton of candy. She broke the fitbit step record, though - 23,000 steps on Halloween!

Ireland:
-At the beginning of the month, Ireland decided to decorate outside for Halloween. She drew chalk R.I.P signs and put dirt under it, drew Frankensteins, ghosts, etc. She also decided to dip her hand in red paint and make "bloody" handprints all over outside. Pretty creepy!! Especially since they have not come off over a month later!
-Ireland continues to enjoy gymnastics. We get to carpool with the Hillsteads & Spencers & that has been nice. She has already passed off most of her skills to go the next level :)
-Ireland invited Mahina and Hannah to her late-over this month and they all had so much fun being silly outside, playing with Noelle, watching movies & eating treats.
-We had been reminding Ireland constantly to stop leaving her tablet on the floor or it was going to get stepped on. Well, unfortunately it happened. It was under a blanket and dad stepped on it by accident. It still turns on but 3/4th of the screen is black and unusable. Unfortunately we don't have insurance this time on it, so she is going to have to go without :(
-One day on the way to school, mom had to remind Ireland for the thousandth time to leave Oaklyn alone and sit down. She said "I can't help it! Oaklyn is just so attractive! She sucks us in and makes us addicted to her!"
-For the first time EVER, Ireland said she has a crush. His name is Riley. Apparently, his best friend is the biggest trouble-maker in the 4th grade, so we're not sure how we feel about that.
-Mom and dad were having an interview with Ireland & talking to her about things. Mom asked how she was really doing, how her heart was. She pointed to her chest and said "Well, it's a rocky situation in here."
-McKinley & Ireland have been enjoying having their rooms close, but sometimes it breeds contention. One night, McKinley was trying to write a letter to Addison & Ireland kept trying to talk to McKinley. McKinley got frustrated & came to tell mom and dad. McKinley told Ireland that she was trying to write a letter and Ireland responded "well, I am trying to write YOU a letter, with my words."
-On the 27th, Ireland was complaining about not feeling well. She laid on the couch and was tired and feeling yucky, so she didn't go to school that day. She slept a lot in the morning, then she was feeling better. But mom really enjoyed having this one-on-one time with Ireland, cuddling, reading books in bed, and just talking. :)
-Apparently, Ireland had a club at recess with Mahina and Hannah, but there were hurt feelings and it had to be disbanded.
-Ireland was grumpy one morning & mom asked what was wrong. Ireland said she was up all night using the bathroom. Mom asked if it was #1 or #2. She responded "No... it was more like #3."
-Ireland was a Roman Goddess for Halloween. She was very beautiful in her gold & white costume. She even contributed $5 to buying it and we spray painted her sandals gold to match. She got to wear it to her gymnastics party, and then of course on Halloween. Mom waved her hair and she had her gold headband. She went trick-or-treating with Mahina & Tammy (who were both also goddesses) and Sophia. She had a fabulous night!

Kezia:
-We are so proud of our Kezia! Not only was her SEPs OUTSTANDING (her teachers raved about how smart she is- she is on a 4th grade+ reading level and wonderful she is), her primary teacher also called because she was doing a lesson about talents and went on and on about what a delight it is to have Kezia in her class & what a great reader she is and what a great sense of humor she has. We are truly blessed to have her in our family.
-On October 4th, Grandma & Grandpa Devenish came for Grandparent breakfast at Kezia's school. She was so happy to have them there & enjoyed spending some time with them :)
-Kezia got to have Macie and Ruby over for our late-over. It was fun to see the 3 together again (KitKat, M&M & Resses) :)
-Another reason to be proud of Kezia this month - she got the Catch the Vision award at an East Elementary assembly. They only choose one boy & one girl from each class. Way to go Kezia!
-A big change this month was that Oaklyn is now sleeping in Noelle's crib, so Noelle is now sleeping in Kezia's bed. It's taken a bit of adjusting, since Noelle has never really slept in anyone's bed before. Kezia has been so good to help her adjust & let her sleep with her, even with all the book messes she makes & how she sometimes wakes up at night.
-Kezia's had some tricky situations this month with her new friend, Ivy. Apparently, Ivy doesn't want anyone to play with Kezia, Ivy & Macie at recess. Kezia has tried to include others, but apparently Ivy doesn't like it. We've tried to talk through the scenarios and what Kezia can to do include others and still keep Ivy as a friend.
-HAPPY 7th BIRTHDAY KEZIA!!! We celebrated Kezia's birthday at the Benson Cabin, at Grandma Devenish's house with chocolate sheet cake, and at home. For her birthday, Kezia got a rock/gem kit, lots of stickers, a Mad Lib book, a gigantic art kit, a mother/daughter locket, and a poster from the Canary Island that we could put on her ceiling - from mom & dad. McKinley got her a My Little Pony kit! She got a cute sparkly hat & some clothes from Grandma Devenish. & Grandma Potts got her roller skates like her sisters! Her friend Ivy came over for a playdate on her birthday and they had fun playing - Ivy even brought her some silly putty, a puzzle, and a balloon. And her new primary teachers, the Vernons, brought her some candy and a balloon. For breakfast she wanted Captain Crunch berries, for lunch she went out to Denny's with daddy, and for dinner, she wanted waffles! Her cake was sugary to the max! Chocolate cake with kitkats surrounding it and rainbow skittles on the top! We were all in a bit of a sugar coma by the evening :) Happy Birthday Kezia!
-Kezia was Captain Irony for Halloween this year. It's from a Studio C skit. She had a stretchy pink unitard, a sparkly pink skirt, and some sock arm bands. She had a capital I on her outfit. She really looked cute! Most people had no idea what she was supposed to be, but it was fun anyway, and she liked to say "IRONY TAUGHT!" :) She got to go trick-or-treating with Mahina & Sophia & had so much fun :)

Link:
We loved getting together with other loss families for the Wave of Light this month. They even printed pictures of babies and we saw yours and we shared your story as well. We miss you SO much! Mom decided to do something extra special for your birthday next month. We're excited about it!

Noelle:
-Big changes for Noelle this month as she has moved from a crib to a BIG girl bed - sharing the bed with Kezia in her room. She has done better than we thought for the most part! She is still getting used to it, but doing well, other than having a hard time getting to sleep some nights/afternoons.
-When we were watching our friend's dog (the Hillstead's), he kept jumping on Noelle & nipping at her fingers. She got fed up with his antics and yelled "We don't eat people, Raffa!!"
-One day in the car, Noelle was asking mom what all the animals say (even though she knows them). She said "what does a turtle say?" Mom said she didn't really know & Noelle got uspet. She said "turtles say turtle turtle!"
-Noelle likes to feed her baby doll while mom feeds Oaklyn. She will lift up her shirt and put the baby to her belly button :)
-Noelle REALLY is great at puzzles! She can do almost ALL of the United States of America puzzle all by herself and she knows the names of probably 15 states.
-Noelle had a couple days of puking this month :(
-Mom was in her room feeding Oaklyn & she could hear Noelle walk through the house yelling "Mom!!" and then she walk into the living room & yells angrily "Kezia! Where did you put my mom?"
-Noelle's prayers are pretty cute. She usually has her eyes open & prays for what she sees. But one day she prayed "and please bless  me and kezia and Ireland and McKinley have bacon. Please bless bacon."
-Noelle still really loves cars. She likes to line them up on the windowsill and put them in-between the black keys on the piano.
-She has been making families out of everything now. If she has a group of cars or food or blocks, she will get the biggest one & make it the daddy, and the smaller one the mommy & on to the sisters.
-Noelle was Dora for Halloween this year. It was kind of hard to tell her costume because she wouldn't wear the dark brown wig that came with the costume. She did use her Dora plastic backback to collect her candy, though, and Oaklyn was boots, so it was cute to see them together :) Daddy took Noelle around the big block and she filled up her backpack with candy and had a lot of fun :)

Oaklyn:
-Oaklyn had her 2 month checkup this month. She was 11 lbs. 11 oz, and had to get 4 shots. Poor baby :(
-Oaklyn moved from the vibrator chair to the crib this month! She also went from being fully swaddled at night to going into the sleep sack with both her arms out. It took a little while to adjust, but she's done really well! Now she is used to her crib and her room & mom and dad have their room back :), but with the monitor on her all the time.
-She still doesn't do too well at tummy time - she either cries a lot or she just turns her head to the side & lays down. Her legs are getting really strong, though, and she stands up (with help) a lot.
-Oaklyn is smiling a lot and has started to laugh. We love it!! She is so adorable. We also get told a LOT how much she looks like her brother.
-Oaklyn has started to really move around in her crib. She hasn't turned over yet, but she wiggles & moves a lot on her back!
-She loves her binki and the muslin breathable blankets.
-We also set up a gift from Jason's coworker which has a projector that displays on the ceiling with 3 different slides that rotate around. She loves watching it.
-Noelle probably wins 2nd place with how much she loves ceiling fans. While mom folds laundry, she will set Oaklyn on the bed & turn on & off the fan and Oaklyn just smiles and is fascinated with it :)
-Oaklyn doesn't love the car unless we are moving.
-Oaklyn has really gotten the hang of hitting the jungle gym things to make music - and pulling on the cow to make it go. She really loves the cow chair. She smiles so big when we put her in it.
-She's already started to notice the TV. Noelle was watching Chu Chu TV & she was just watching it & smiling so much :)
-She was only waking up once a night, but has regressed to twice. Her naps are still intermittent, though she usually gets a long one in a few times a week. Sure wish we knew when that was :)
-Oaklyn is sure talking more these days. We just love her coos, squeals, and babbles. We love this girl!

Monday, October 10, 2016

September Newsletter & Slideshow

https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipPX0bRqc-PiUGm07SMv_Q-QEyLjPXG7DhWiSnE4

Hamilton Newsletter
September 2016

Family: September was school and lessons and family and friends and cooler weather :) Over Labor Day weekend we went swimming, flew kites at the park, roasted s'mores in the backyard, did a Snow Canyon hike to explore some lava tubes, and went to Iceburg to get some shakes & we also ran into Merri Tew and her mom, Sandra. It was a fun weekend :) McKinley turned 11 this month! Happy Birthday McKinley! See her section for more details. On the 15th, a BIG thing happened for our temple - we got our angel Moroni! It wasn't publicly announced, but our friends & neighbors, the Petersen's, gave us a heads' up (he's the main contractor on the temple) and we headed over. He said 10:30 am, but it ended up being more like 1pm. Which was good because Grandma & Grandpa Potts and even GG were able to see it! Jason came from work and waited the whole time until it happened. We got some cool video and pictures. What a neat thing to see! On the 17th, while daddy was at a church training, mom took all the girls to the parkway. We went almost 4 miles - mom pushing the double stroller and the girls riding their bikes. It was a beautiful morning & they all enjoyed it :) On the 18th, we had lots of family come over for Sunday dinner/Sept birthday celebrations. The Hamiltons came from St. George (minus Jeff - he was in Alaska), Grandma Devenish and the Reeds came from Richfield, and the Potts even came on their way down South. It was a full house, but lots of fun. We had roast, mashed potatoes, salad, homemade bread, and cake & ice cream. Yum! Our garden harvesting is still going strong with LOTS of tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, jalapenos, cucumbers, broccoli, and raspberries. Our honeydew melons finally ripened, too, & were SO yummy! Now, just waiting on those pumpkins to finish ripening for jack-o-lanterns next month! On the 22nd, the Simons came to town and mom took the girls out of school to go to the St. George Children's Museum with them. They all had a great time together - and Grandma Potts also paid for them to go on the carousel at the adjoining park : ) Afterwards we went to Grandma's for lunch and mom watched the girls and the Simon boys while Grandma took Trisha out shopping. Then we headed home & got ready for the Edwards to get to our home, which wasn't till 11. Saturday afternoon, we hiked Spring Creek with the Edwards and enjoyed it! It is so beautiful there & we saw so many butterflies and beautiful red rock. Afterwards, we came back, relaxed & then had pizza before all the girls 8 & up went to the women's conference. There was GG, Grandma, Trisha, Cindy, Tiarra, Heidi, McKinley, and Ireland. It was SO neat to enjoy the conference with so many amazing girls and women!! Afterwards, we went to Pop n' sweets & tried some hot cocoa floats and sodas :) The Edwards & Simons slept over on Saturday & on Sunday we all went to church & watched the girls in their primary program, which was wonderful - as always :) Afterwards we ate and then sang happy birthday to McKinley & ate the cute cake that Cindy made for her. Also this month, we got together for a picnic at the Hillcrest Park with some of our old 19th ward friends. We brought Frog Eye Salad & others brought some yummy food & we enjoyed our time visiting :)
Jason: On the 17th, Jason had a special church training. It was just for bishops and Elders Quorum presidents and he got to see Elder Ballard and a few other general authorities speak. He said it was really neat & even got to shake Elder Ballard's hand :) Jason was so good about having so much family over this month. He helped so much with food and watching kids and driving. He has also been so good at helping with homework - specifically Ireland's math homework, which has taken sometimes multiple hours at night.
Heidi: Heidi continues to adjust to having the 2 little ones at home and juggling carpooling and other demands. Overall, she is loving it, though. She enjoys her time with her "littles" in the morning and her "olders" in the afternoon. Heidi has started slowly back into running again and is up to 4 miles. She also enjoys her walks & many mornings after she drops Kezia off at school , she will walk on the East Canyon parkway, which is so beautiful, especially in the fall.  She joined an fitness facebook group & is enjoying that, too. She read a couple books last month, including When Crickets Cry and Ember in the Ashes, both very good. She got to go to a Share dinner at an Indian restaurant and visit with some wonderful ladies. It was so good to catch up and also be able to talk about her sweet son.
 
McKinley:
-McKinley started back up with piano and is doing wonderfully. She also started the cello this month! We told her to choose between a cello and a play & she chose the cello. So - she is in the 5th grade orchestra and is already self-teaching herself more than they do in class. Her piano teacher just says music in general just comes naturally to McKinley. We'd agree! :)
-McKinley turned 11 years old on the 9th! Her tablecloth is really starting to fill up with hands! She chose Krave for breakfast, grilled cheese & tomato soup for lunch (daddy came & got her & brought her home for lunch), and then we went to Panda Express as a family for dinner! Her gifts from mom & dad were her birthday book, a locket that glows blue in the dark, a coin purse,  some lotion & chapstick, a Mt. McKinley license plate, some music note earrings, and a fitbit. Mom & McKinley have had fun comparing steps every day :) Kezia got her some Butterfinger bites and a nice card. Ireland gave her some handmade gifts. Grandma Devenish came to take her shopping & she got a cute shirt & some jeggings. Then, later in the month, Grandma & Grandpa Potts came to take her shopping & she ended up ordering (and getting) some roller skates, which she really wanted. She is working on learning how to use them.
-On the 27th, McKinley got to go with the other members of the leadership team to do a presentation for the Iron County school board. She gave her part and did wonderfully, and we are so proud of her! :)
-One Sunday McKinley decided to host a sister swap and gathered up all her things she wanted to swap and put them on the table & her sisters did, too, and they even had rules and all. Lots of fun trading happened :)
-McKinley is part of a special drama group at her school, made up of exceptional readers. So, while other kids work on reading, McKinley gets to do some fun drama things. The bonus is that it's with Orlando (her crush) :)
-McKinley & Ireland have been so cute at night. Ireland will come into McKinley's room & McKinley will read to her. They read all of The Twits and now are reading James & the Giant Peach. Sometimes they also craft and things :)
-McKinley was kind of disappointed that she didn't make the "Be Proactive" skit at school. She auditioned, but she said Orlando was there and it made her mess up :(

Ireland:
-Ireland continues to enjoy Mr. Sahagun's class. Although, his class this year has turned out to be quite different than last year when McKinley was in it. She has a different math teacher (Mr. Carter) and comes home with math homework about 3 times a week. Dad has been so good to stay up and help her with it - sometimes 2 or more hours a night - to make sure she understands.
-Ireland continues to enjoy gymnastics. Paige & Laura are going this year, too, so we now have a nice carpooling setup :)
-One of Ireland's assignments this month was to do a book bag report. She was to color a picture for the outside of the bag, decorate it, place 5 things about the book inside the bag, and give a presentation about it all. The book she chose was The White Dolphin, by Gill Lewis. It was a bit of a scramble to get it ready on time, but it turned out really cute & she got a great grade! Way to go Ireland!
-One day playing outside, Ireland got her hands on some rope & used it to rig up a cool line that was tied at 2 ends of the fence.
-Ireland got to have a disco party, including ice cream sandwiches, for being in the top 10 Alecs (math) students in her class. Awesome job!
-McKinley & Ireland have been so cute at night. Ireland will come into McKinley's room & McKinley will read to her. They read all of The Twits and now are reading James & the Giant Peach. Sometimes they also craft and things :)

Kezia:
-Kezia continues to enjoy the dual immersion program at East. Even though she still complains about not being with her sisters, she enjoys both her teachers and has made new friends, like Ivy and Canyon :) She also has done really well with her homework, Spanish or English, consistently bringing home 100% papers. She definitely is one smart cookie!
-Kezi is so good with getting puff balls for our family. She is by far the #1 contributor to help us earn a trip to Lagoon this year. She helps out so much with Noelle, especially, and is patient with her even when she is being really mean. 
-Mom got it out of Kezia that her new crush is named Briggs. She says he is cute. Mom is making sure he is NICE, too :)
-One day Kezi was having time. She plopped down by mom and said "Everything is going everybody else's way this morning!"
-Kezia's teacher mentioned it was her anniversary the next day, and Kezia's ears perked up. :) She picked flowers from our front yard and even had mom buy her a candy bar and she took them both to school. She is quite a sweetheart. She also loves sharpening pencils for her teachers and a couple times was late when mom came to pick her up!

Link:
Noelle had to go to your bench this month, baby boy. She loved playing with your cars. Every time we pass the cemetery, she wants to go see you. Also got so see a few beautiful rainbows this month and you know how I LOVE my Link Rainbows! It's hard to see all the pictures of people's kids going to preschool, knowing you would be going this year. Oh, how I would love to watch you go to preschool. Miss you EVERY single day, my sweet boy. We all do!
Noelle:
-Noelle continues her streak of mischief. It's a weekly chore just to clean her markings off the furniture & walls :( But thankfully, she also has continued to love on & be gentle with her baby sister, so we will be thankful for that!
-When I was taking Oaklyn's 1 month pictures, Noelle wanted her picture tsken, too. She posed, smiled & said "Mom, cheese me!"
-Noelle pointed to her freshly graffiti'd wall  & said "Sydney drew on the wall!"
-One of Noelle;s favorite new sayings: "guess what?"
-Noelle found some pennies & nickels one day. She showed mom & said "I have $50!!"
-Ever since Oaklyn was born, Noelle doesn't want to go to nursery anymore. Before the closing hymn is even done, she will start crying & saying she doesn't want to go :(
-Noelle is TERRIFIED of thunder. Not sure if she got that from a Daniel Tiger episode, but if she even sees dark clouds, she will come running to mom, so scared. One time she was playing with the white noise machine while mom was feeding Oaklyn & she pushed the rainstorm button. Wow - was she terrified! She ran to mom & wouldn't stop shaking till mom turned it off.
-One day Noelle asked for a cup of milk. Mom said "what am I waiting for?" (as in, waiting for her to ask nicely, saying please). She said "You're waiting for Link."
-Another fun Noelle phrase: "don't worry, mom!" (wherein, mom immediately starts worrying)
-Noelle loves to hear McKinley play the cello (and often wants to touch, too). One day McKinley was practicing & Noelle said "show me that stuff!"
-Noelle is possessive if someone not in our family tries to touch Oaklyn. She will run over & say "Hey - that's MY baby!"
Oaklyn:
-Oaklyn is doing really well & we are so happy that she is a part of our family! We all can't wait until she wakes up in the morning to get her smiles and we all want to hold her at night, too. She is starting to get a little bit fussy in the evening, but not anything that a little cuddling can't fix :)
-Once she was 6 weeks, she really abruptly stopped pooping. It was almost 4 days and then she had a massive blow-out. After that it's been better, but it's more like every 3 days instead of multiple times a day.
-She is starting to sleep better at night & will go from about 8-3am and then she'll wake up between 6 & 7, so it's really not too bad. Her naps in the day are sporadic, but she's starting to get into more of a routine.
-Poor Oaklyn really has to love her carseat. Many days she's in it 5 or 6 times with all the running around that mom has to do. Life of the baby!! She usually does just fine - especially when we're moving, but she doesn't like the stop & go.
-Noelle is possessive if someone not in our family tries to touch Oaklyn. She will run over & say "Hey - that's MY baby!"
-Oaklyn is smiling more & more. She loves it when we stick out our tongue or make clicking noises.
-She is starting to "talk" more, too, and we love to hear her coos and ooos and other sweet baby noises.
-She is definitely grown out of the newborn clothes :( and now is in size 2 diapers!
-Oaklyn has started being able to hit the dangling items on the overhead jungle gym and make the music go! She also is loving the blue chair with the hanging farm animals. We put her in there & she immediately starts smiling and talking :)
-Her legs are getting more & more strong & she's able to put weight on them!
-She doesn't love tummy time, but we are still working on it!
-Oaklyn REALLY loves to have her face in mommy or daddy's shirt or a blanket. :( She also LOVES when mommy's hair is touching her face & she sleeps so well that way :)
-She's almost too big for the swaddlers that we use with the vibrator chair. She keeps getting her arms and hands out!



August Newsletter & Slideshow

Sorry so late! 


Hamilton Newsletter
August 2016
Family: Of course, our huge news this month is the addition of a new member!! Oaklyn Alice Hamilton joined our family on August 3, 2016 at 2:30pm. We are SO thankful she is here & we are loving every minute with her!  Grandma & Grandpa Potts were so good to come down and help out. They helped with the other girls while mom & dad were in the hospital with Oaklyn – and we also had the Hamiltons and Devenishs come visit & hold the new baby - and then after we got home, they took all four older girls to St. George to stay in their new place for a few days so Heidi & Jason could enjoy some time with the new baby. We’re grateful for that sweet time, because before we knew it, school was starting! Jason took that week off and helped with the transition – McKinley (5th grade) and Ireland (4th grade) started another year at North Elementary and Kezia (1st grade) started her first year at East Elementary, enrolled in the dual immersion program. So – with 2 different schools to carpool to, and a newborn to boot, mornings can be a bit hectic J But it’s been nice to get back into routines and the girls have all enjoyed their new classes & teachers.  On the 21st, we had some guests – the Bensons and Michalla Holt (a girl from Herriman that is going to SUU). It was fun to visit and catch up with both of them. Speaking of Bensons, our friends, the Bealers, had their baby 6 days before Oaklyn, and named him Benson J We are so happy for them! (and hope they move back soon so they can be friends J).  We are so thankful for friends that have brought meals and gifts for our new little one. We are so blessed! Another fun thing we spent a lot of time doing in August was watching the Summer Olympics in Rio. Many times staying up way too late :) We especially loved watching Phelps go crazy again winning gold in swimming, Simone Biles rip it up in gymnastics (and all the US gymnasts), diving, and beach volleyball. GO USA!! :)
Jason: Jason was, once again, a rock and a huge helper for Oaklyn’s birth. This was the first time, though, that he didn’t stay overnight at the hospital. They changed the furniture & the recliner was just not going to work, so he went home, but came back early the next morning. During the week of the 15th, besides helping with taking the girls to school, he also was a Honey-do list ROCKSTAR! J He put up a temporary fence (hallelujah!) to keep kids and dogs in the backyard, he fixed our house numbers, fixed the front door trim, set up our new baby monitor, added a rod to Noelle’s closet to fit Oaklyn’s clothes, fixed the water line on our fridge so we could get ice & water again, and made countless trips to the store or running errands. We are SO thankful for our awesome dad/hubby!! A sad thing happened this month as Jason's coworker's (Mindy) husband died, leaving her with 4 children to raise. Jason just hired her to be on his team, and so he's had to take over for her quite a bit, but he is so good at supporting her & letting her grieve.
Heidi: Well, Heidi is still just reveling in her non-pregnancy state J She LOVES to be able to lay down flat, or on her tummy, or bend down or just take a full breath! She is so thankful for her new baby girl and is working hard to stop calling her Noelle ;) Oaklyn’s birth was really not too bad. She had a little bit where she was nauseated and light-headed, but got through that within an hour or so. After her birth, she just didn’t want to give her up to the nurses. Such a sweet feeling holding her precious baby.  Even though she is up with the baby a lot in the night, she still has felt good enough to start going for walks/slow runs and has really enjoyed it – and looks forward to upping her workout intensity soon. Nursing was extremely painful with Oaklyn for the first couple weeks – until she got her upper lip tie clipped. She also had a painful UTI, so she’s thankful we’re through that first rough part!

McKinley:
-McKinley was given the chance to be at Oaklyn’s birth, and though at first she wasn’t sure, she decided to come. It was neat to have her there and she was a big helper. The nurses and Laurie were so cute with her and tried to educate her about everything. A nurse showed her with a flipbook how to measure dilation. And after Oaklyn  was born, daddy let McKinley cut the cord!! Definitely a very cool experience. She also was one of the very first to hold Oaklyn, and she was so cute with her.
-McKinley continues to be a huge helper with Oaklyn and Noelle especially. We are SO thankful Heavenly Father sent her to us as the oldest sister!
-McKinley started 5th grade this month and she is now queen of the school! We’ve told her that she needs to make sure she’s an example for all the younger kids at North. She is such a great leader. She has Mrs. Isom this year & she really likes her. She also loves that she can see & visit with Mr. Sahagun (her 4th grade teacher), too J
-McKinley really struggled with insomnia this month. The first time it happened was the night before Oaklyn’s birth. She kept coming in mom & dad’s room – until after 1am – because she couldn’t sleep. She was crying & so so tired. But then it happened again on the night before the first day of school… and multiple days afterwards. We tried lots of things – chamomile tea, reading, talking, and even Tylonol PM. None of them helped for very long L
-Being the oldest, McKinley got quite a few new clothes this year for school! The bonus is that McKinley & mom almost share the same size, so it's like mom getting new clothes too!! :)
Ireland:
-Ireland, of course, is back on can't-keep-my-hands-off-the-baby mode :) She really does adore babies, and has loved holding, kissing, carrying, and just loving our new baby Oaklyn. She woke up before we left the morning of Oaklyn's birth (at 6am!), just to give mommy's tummy one last squeeze.
-Ireland started 4th grade this month and has enjoyed Mr. Sahagun (who taught McKinley last year). She doesn't quite take to his jokes yet, though. One time he was teasing her about misbehaving & she was scared that he was really mad at her.
-Ireland also started gymnastics again at the very end of the month. This time, she is in a higher class and goes for an hour and a half. She gets to do the bars every time, which she loves!
Kezia:
-Kezia has been excited for her new baby sister, too. She was up at 5:30 to give mom note that said "Please don't leave until you give me a kiss. Love Kezia. P.S. don't let dad get the certificate" The story behind that was that we still hadn't decided on a name for sure, but dad liked the name Georgia and kept telling us that he was just going to sign the birth certificate himself & put Georgia on it. Kezia wanted to make sure that didn't happen :)
-Kezia started 1st grade this year! Mom was getting pretty worried because she was still on the waiting list to get in the dual immersion program at East until the Friday before school started! She had actually even called North to see if Kezia could come there since we still didn't know about East. Mom was so relieved & happy she got in at the last minute. Kezia's friend, Macie, was glad too! They are in the same class & Kezia was happy she knew someone there. She really likes Mrs. Guillin and Senora Fernandez. Mom was really worried about how she would be able to handle everything the first few weeks, but honestly, she has surprised mom and dad! She has really done well and it's so fun to hear dad & Kezia start to have little conversations and listen to Kezia's cute spanish songs that she's learning. We hope that her learning will rub off on all of us :)
-Kezi had to miss the 2nd day of school because she had a fever & wasn't feeling good. Thankfully it only lasted a day & she was back to herself!
-She's loved having so many guests come to the house this month - including both sets of grandparents and the Bensons.
Link:
Again we felt your joy at helping to bring another sister into this world. How we wish you were here to play with her. But we know you are watching over her and are so thankful that she got to spend time with you before she came here. We hope, like Noelle, she will share a sacred bond with her big brother.
Noelle:
-Noelle had turned quite naughty even a couple months before baby Oaklyn came, but she definitely has taken it up a few notches :) Mom has said that unless she is sleeping, watching screen time, or mom is right there with her, she is making trouble!! She continues to find markers, crayons, etc and use everything as a canvas but actual paper. She decided it would be fun to get the eggs in the outside fridge and break them on the ground, and she love to dump water, spit water, and just generally make messes. She also continues to push, pull hair, kick, pinch and even started to bit her older sisters :( Needless to say, she's had to be in time out quite a bit and clean up a lot of messes and make lots of apologies.
-With all the bullying of her older sisters, mom was very worried about how she would treat the new baby. But amazingly, Noelle has been very gentle with her. She was so cute holding her in the hospital and she asks every day "Can I hold baby Oaklyn?" and she will "hold" her and touch her cheek and sing to her and hold her hand. It's so so sweet. It ALMOST makes up for all the other naughtiness. Almost :)
-Noelle would dance around Oaklyn, singing "Baby O, Baby O!" We love to sing it, too, now :)
-Noelle love her "mommy & Noelle time" during the day, but she really misses her sisters, too, and asks about them. And almost every day after we take them to school, she will say "But I want to go to school, too, mom!" :(
-Some of Noelle's funny sayings: "Dang it!" "Chicken but!" (her sisters taught her that one), "Not today, but!" (mom said that one day & she's been saying it ever since) and "But why mom?" (yes... the whys have begun!)
-Noelle has worked hard this month & finally got the hang of "thumbs up!" She will say it randomly now just to show off her new skill :)
-Brushing teeth is always SO rough for Noelle. She HATES it! She will ask to brush teeth every night, but the minute we try to brush, she screams and kicks and cries. She wants to do it ALL by herself.
-Noelle still LOVES books and cars.
OAKLYN:
-Welcome to the world and welcome to our family sweet girl!! Oaklyn was born on August 3 at 2:30pm. Mom was really hoping for the 4th (so we could have a 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th & 9th), but our midwife, Laurie Hansen, thought she might be out of town, so we scheduled the induction on the 3rd. Well, it happened that Laurie didn't really go out of town, so she came in on the 3rd and asked if we wanted to try for the 4th instead. Well, mom was already hooked up and SOOOO ready to have her baby in her arms that she just couldn't imagine waiting another day. So - the 3rd it was! As it turned out, everything about that day seemed meant to be and she felt peace about knowing Oaklyn was supposed to come when she did. Daddy, McKinley, and Grandma Potts attended your birth. McKinley was especially excited to be able to be there to see Oaklyn's birth. We are ALL so thankful that she is here happy & healthy!
-Oaklyn's name was a struggle for us. Daddy really wanted the name Georgia or Aspen. Mom liked Oaklyn, and we had been calling her Oaklyn, so her sisters were wanting that name, too. But mom took a poll online for some ideas & the name Oasis came up. We both really liked that name, too, and after she was born, mom was actually leaning toward that name. But then daddy said a prayer and paused for a moment. In that moment, the name Oaklyn came so clearly to mom's mind. She felt sure that was the name that was meant for this beautiful baby girl. And so dad went up and wrote Oaklyn Alice on the hospital board. And there it was. Alice is a family name on both our sides - Jason's great-great grandma (Alice Tennesee Henderson) on his dad's side and Heidi's great-great grandma (Candace Alice Anderson) on her mom's side.
-Oaklyn is a pretty decent sleeper. The first night or two, she was up a LOT, but after that she's done well.  She's up usually 3-4 times a night. It took her a week or so to figure out the day/night thing, but she's done pretty good!
-Oaklyn caught on to breastfeeding like a champ. The only problem was that mommy was in a LOT of pain! They told us when she was born that she had an upper lip tie, but the doctor didn't tell me it would affect breastfeeding. Well, it did. At Oaklyn's  2 week appointment, Dr. Polson clipped the tie (she wasn't happy :(), but it helped a lot and things are going much better!! She is getting plenty of milk, too, more than her birth weight at her 2 week appointment (8 lb. 8oz).
-Having 4 sisters is pretty fun! Oaklyn is almost constantly bombarded by sisters wanting to hold her. Mom has to set timers and make sure everyone gets a turn with baby Oaklyn.
-Right now, Oaklyn has a good crop of dark hair on the back of her head. She's been mostly bald on top, but it's starting to come in & looks dark. Also, looks right now like she's going to join her sisters & brother & be blue-eyed. :)
-We have caught some genuine smiles already but haven't been able to capture them on camera!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

July Newsletter & Slideshow

Sorry so late! I was busy having/enjoying our new baby!

July Slideshow:

https://goo.gl/photos/TGw9a29xwsNHjw1D9

Hamilton Family Newsletter
July 2016

FAMILY: July turned out to not be quite as crazy as other years, mostly because it was hotter than normal, mom was in her last month of pregnancy, and we had some yucky flu at the end :( but even with all that, we did get out some and do some fun things. The 4th was July was on a Monday, so Jason took the girls on Friday and mom drove up on Monday. They had fun playing with their cousins, and they also got to go to a birthday party for Emry Sorenson - one of daddy's friends' daughters. They had a lot of fun. The parade was fun and they did a slip-n-slide at Grandma & Grandpa's house afterwards. The fireworks were fun to watch and daddy brought the girls' bikes, so they had fun riding those around, too. Monday, the 5th, was Ireland's birthday - see her section for all the fun things she did and got :) The 6-7, we got to have Daken come stay with us and we got to go see his baseball games. They won the gold in the Utah Summer Games - way to go Daken! After the last game, we had the Hamiltons and Daddy's friend, Brock, over for pizza. On the 8th, we prepared a picnic and went to Link's bench to enjoy. It was wonderful to be there as a family and enjoy some good food :) On the 9th, we hiked to Hidden Haven, up Parowan Canyon. Mom and the girls had done the hike before, but this was daddy's first time, so it was fun to go. It was so beautiful and when we got to the waterfall, we all took our socks and shoes off and enjoyed the cool water. Later on that day, we had some old friends stop by - the Gardners. They were our old neighbors when we lived on Northern View Drive and Ireland was especially excited to see her "Arizona Sienna." The kids had fun playing and we had pizza for dinner. Then we headed over to see the Cedar City temple and take some pictures. The next day we got some more visitors - the Edwards! They came for the weekend and then we went to see "Peter Pan" at the Tuacahn on Monday night. It was a fun play and the kids had a good time. We also celebrated Joshua & Ireland's birthdays while they were here - and went to the Lake at the Hills for some fun. Another fun thing we did was go explore all the new Shakespeare buildings that have gotten completed. They were really amazing - and fun to see. Can't wait to go see a play there soon! After the Edwards' visit, they took Ireland with them back to SLC so she could go to Joshua's birthday party - they rented a water slide for the kids and Ireland had a fun time! The Vogts came back into town from being in Hawaii for like a month, and it was good to see them. They were so sweet and brought candy leis for each of the girls. On the 14th, we headed to the Renassance Festival at the Main Street Park. It was a lot of fun and the girls had fun eating hot scones and checking out all the booths. Ireland bought McKinley a clay bird whistle after breaking hers last year. Sadly, Kezia accidentally broke it a day later :( That weekend, Grandma & Grandpa came into town with their moving truck! We went to St. George early Saturday morning to help them move into their new St. George house. YAY!! The 18th was a Primary Party BBQ at the Beachams and the whole family had fun eating, visiting, and playing with friends. On the 20th, we met the Devenish's in Beaver for dinner & then McKinley & Kezia went to spend a few days in Richfield with Grandma & Grandpa Devenish. They went swimming, to a movie, and played with cousins. Unfortunately, that's also where they picked up a yucky flu virus that ended up going through every member of the family. It hit hard with lots of puking and tummy aches, but thankfully left quickly, too. Kezia had it first, then McKinley, then the Devenishs, then Noelle, then mommy, then Ireland, and finally dad. They were each about 2 days apart. It was not a fun time - especially since the girls were cooped up and couldn't play with friends since we were contagious :( We were glad it happened before the baby is supposed to be here, though. Other than that, the rest of July was spent getting ready for baby - getting out clothes, carseat, buying a monitor, etc, and getting ready for school - going through each closet, sorting & organizing, school clothes shopping, buying supplies, etc. Also - our garden is really starting to produce, so it's been fun to eat fresh raspberries, strawberries, peas, tomatoes, and even some jalapeños! And in other news - Rainbow Truck the bunny is now a daddy! Our next-door neighbors, the Schoppman's, sent mom a text with a picture of a baby bunny and asked if Rainbow Truck had been over. Yup - he had - and now he's a dad! :) It's been fun to go over there & see & hold the cute, tiny bunny. We'll be a little more careful of "visits" to the next-door neighbor bunny in the future! :) As a family, we also enjoyed quite a few rainstorms at the end of the month. Mom and dad would sit on the rocking chairs while the girls would ride bikes or run around in the rain. It was so nice to finally get a cool-off at the end! Ireland begged to sleep in the back of the truck for a week or so & mom and dad finally gave in at the end of the month - on the 24th of July. She and her sisters had fun sleeping under the stars :)

JASON: July continued to be busy for Jason at work. He transferred to his new job, but still doing the jobs of 3 people. Thankfully, he was able to interview and hire one of his coworkers and she will start soon. He enjoyed spending time with family & friends over the 4th of July - & even got to ride his dirt bike :)  

HEIDI: With it being the last month of pregnancy in the hottest month of the year, Heidi was pretty sluggish :) But still had fun doing what she could. She really enjoyed spending 2 full days alone at home while Jason had the girls. She mostly read (& finished) Gone with the Wind & also watched some "chick flicks" :) But also got a lot of rest which she knew would be a lost luxury in a few weeks. Heidi's nesting instinct kicked in this month and she spent over $200 and many hours organizing all the closets in the house, including theirs. We are LOVING the organization that the baskets bring!

McKINLEY:
-McKinley had fun back-to-school shopping with mom and got quite spoiled with clothes. Hope she wears them all!
-McKinley finished "Alcatraz and the Evil Librarian" this month :) It was a book that the Edwards were listening to & she HAD to know what happened!
-She had a fun time at Grandma Devenish's until she got sick! Grandma said she was just swimming laps like crazy in the Manti swimming pool!

 IRELAND:
-Happy 9th birthday Ireland! She woke up at Grandma Devenish's & got to have Krave Cereal for breakfast. We were home by lunch time and she got to trace her hand on the tablecloth and also eat pizza! In the late afternoon, we headed to the movies for her birthday - she decided to go see Finding Dory, and we all enjoyed it : ) For dinner, we roasted hot dogs over the fire in the backyard! Then, of course, it was time for cake and ice cream!  Mom and Dad got her an American Girl Pony, Roller skates (with elbow, wrist and knee guards), a fun game, and a Mad Libs book that they've all had fun coming up with silly stories with. She also got money, some clothes, and another chalk game from Aunt Keeley.
-Ireland wasn't sure she wanted to go to SLC with Aunt Cindy because she didn't want to be away from mom, but she decided to go after all & she had a lot of fun. She really liked Joshua's water slide that he had for his birthday. While she was there, Aunt Cindy bought her a Barbie that can switch out clothes & Grandma & Grandpa bought her some coloring pencils and an adult coloring book online, along with fox and tiger stuffed animals. So - she was pretty spoiled, as usual :)
-We went to Walmart a couple times this month & Ireland was on a risk-taking streak. She used almost all of her birthday money ($20) on arcade games (like the kind you try to win a stuffed animal with the claw). To her credit, she did buy lots of rides for Noelle to ride on, some rings that she shared & also some candy that she shared. But she eventually learned (hopefully) that spending her money on those things was a waste.
-Ireland was SO excited to see her "Arizona Sienna" that she never thought she'd see again (we didn't either!) They had fun playing and they said they might be back for the temple open house next year, so maybe she'll get to see her friend again!
-She waited a while for Kaydence to write her back, but her waiting paid off & she got such a sweet, long letter in the mail. Now it's her turn to write back!
-While her sisters were in Richfield, Ireland had a fun time with mom at home. They spent time together and went to the park.
-One day mom asked where Noelle was. Ireland replied "She's over here!" mom asked what she was doing. Ireland said "Just cutenessing!"
KEZIA:
-One night after movie night (we watched Night at the Museum), Kezia put on a really cute puppet show story that we all enjoyed :)
-We have been trying not to stress out about Kezia's schooling situation, but we are kind of a bit worried as school gets closer & we don't have answers. We've been told repeatedly that she is "next in line" to get into the dual immersion program at East, but even after calling, they tell us there is no openings as this point. Mom finally got a hold of North and was told she could go there, but she really wants her to get into East, so we'll see what happens.
-Kezia's 2 front teeth were pretty loose, so dad offered to help Kezi out :) Kezia said he could pull her tooth, but he had to read 20 minutes of scriptures with her that night. He agreed :) So - she now is 1 front tooth short and she got a visit from the tooth fairy!
-One night in the middle of the night, mom could hear movement in the hallway, so she went out to find Kezia walking around. Mom asked her what she was doing & she didn't respond, but went to the bathroom. Mom helped her take off her jammies to go to the bathroom. Afterwards, she pulled her panties up and mom told her she forgot to wipe. So, she got toilet paper and wiped - OVER her panties! Mom had to help her change into different jammies afterwards. Of course, Kezi remembered nothing of this the next morning :)
-Kezia was the first one to get the flu. She puked & puked - but Grandma Devenish said that she said she didn't remember it at all the next day. Silly girl!
-Kezia was the only one that wanted to be on the Pioneer Day Parade float this year. So - she got to dress up in a bonnet & apron & she stood in a giant Mason Jar (the theme was preserving our heritage) & threw out candy. She got popcicles & root beer at the end and her picture was even on the front page of Iron County Today the next week!
-Kezia got to go on her lunch date this month - mom and Kezi went to Arby's!


LINK:
We loved having a picnic at your bench this month. It made us feel like a real family. One day we were driving to daddy's work and Noelle pointed to the cemetery and said "Is that Link, mom? there's Link, mom. I want Link." Oh, sweet boy. How we ALL want you. How we miss you. How we LOVE you.  

NOELLE:
-Well, this month Noelle has officially decided she is embracing the TERRIBLE TWOs and everything it involves. She must know a big change is happening with the new baby, because she is acting out like crazy - pulling hair, hitting, pushing, even biting. Along with the coloring on the walls and throwing things. She has spent a LOT of time in time-out this month, sadly. And no matter how many times she goes in time-out, or we explain to her why it's not okay to act that way, she continues to challenge us. We would love it if this were a SUPER short phase with the baby coming, but I guess we'll see!
-Daddy was loading his dirt bike onto his truck via the ramp and Noelle was outside climbing the ramp. She slipped and smashed her mouth on the ramp. She was bleeding and her teeth did look a bit different, but it just took some loves & ibprofin for her to feel better, thankfully!
-When we went to the Lake at the Hills with the Edwards, there was a toddler girl was wearing the same swim suit that Noelle owned - a ruffled Minnie Mouse swim suit.  Noelle wasn't wearing it that day, but when she saw that little girl, she was a bit frustrated & upset. She pointed to the girl & said "that's mine! That's MY swim suit!" Mom tried to explain it to her, but she wasn't really buying it. Eventually she said "Okay. Let's share!" The other funny thing she did at the lake - trying to blow up the inflatable tire. She would put her mouth over the sealed hole & blow with all her might :)
-A big rite of passage this month! Noelle can ACTUALLY put away the utensils from the dishwasher! We just put the utinsil holder on the open dishwasher & she will sort them out! She does a really great job - YAY Noelle!
-Noelle still LOVES nursery. She will ask when we're going to church - and then when we're at church, she will ask when it's time for nursery.
-She LOVES the sandbox, too. She will constantly ask to go outside in the sandbox. She loves it when mom or dad or her sisters come with her, but she will even go by herself and play out there for quite a while. She also loves to yell to our neighbors & says "Adelaide!!!" It's so cute.
-Noelle being sick was probably the hardest. She just didn't want to lay down and she HATED puking in the bowl. She would push it away even as she was throwing up. And she threw up a LOT. Thankfully, it was only about 24 hours of misery and she was feeling better.



Tuesday, July 5, 2016

June Newsletter & Slideshow

June Photos:

https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipN-IDnqgl1rZ1z4gW6VIJyQaoDPEEsZQlbJP0SF

Hamilton Family Newsletter
June 2016

FAMILY: Welcome Summer!! We have all had a good time jumping into the summer fun and routines this month. For make-it Monday, we have made an Angry Bird Piniata, TP phone holders, and cards for Father's Day. For taste-it Tuesday, we've made frozen lemonade (from real lemons), Oreo Pops, Sand Pudding, and raspberry chocolate chip treats. For Water Wednesday, we've gone to 2 different Splash Parks in St. George/Hurricane, had water balloon target practice on the fence, and been to our Lake at the Hills, along with just playing in the sandbox/small pool in the backyard. For Thinking Thursday, we've gone to the library and worked on our goals for the summer, including multiplication fact memorization and reading. For Forest/Fun Friday, we've gone up to Woods Ranch for a picnic and we've been to a bounce house in SLC. In between all this structured fun, the girls have had so much fun riding around on their bikes with friends and we've had our new neighbor girls, Karmeah and Anna, over almost every day, along with other friends in the neighborhood. We've also had fun hanging out on the front porch in the evenings, or roasting marshmallows in the backyard.  On June 1st, we headed down to Richfield to take Grandma Devenish out for her birthday to Costa Vida. The Reeds came, too, and it was fun to see everyone :) On the 2nd, we finally finished the sandbox in the corner of our yard. It took 2 Saturdays and 2 truck-fuls of sand, but we are really happy with it. There is a LOT of sand to play in and the girls have spent hours and hours out there in the sand. Our other Saturday project was getting mom's vegetables and flowers into the ground. With some help and replacing some water lines, we got them in and they are really doing well! It will be great to see how our harvest turns out this year. Unfortunately, we had a bout of pinkeye at the beginning of the month that started with Kezia and after a make-up party where mascara was used, McKinley & Ireland got it, too :( Grandma & Grandpa Potts stopped by twice this month, looking at homes in St. George. The first time we went with them and got to see some of the potential homes they were looking at. We were kinda bummed they didn't choose a home in Hurricane, but still SO SO happy that they will be closer to us in St. George than clear in SLC! They should be closing on their St. George home the middle of July. On the 11th, we headed over to Ladybug Nursery for some fun! We went ladybug hunting and caught a lot! We had a free lunch, rode the train, and mined for gold! It was fun and we even ran into a few friends. The weekend of the 18th, we got to have Daken for a night while Jeff & Keeley were busy being Ma & Pa at trek. It was fun to have him and cheer him on at the Utah Summer Games baseball games. His team even took gold!! The last weekend of the month, we headed to SLC for a few days. On the 24th, we went to a bounce house for fun and to celebrate Parker's birthday. As it turned out, his cousin joined him on his birthday! Maxwell Adam Checketts was born on the 24th, 9 lbs 1 oz. We are so happy that he made it here safely and enjoying all the pictures Aunt Tiffany sends from Minnesota. On the 25th, Heidi went to a SIDS mom get-together at a restaurant in S. Jordan while Grandma & Grandpa watched the girls. It was a wonderful time to visit. Also while we were up there, we went to a park and to Wheeler Farm for some free cotton candy, Chick-fil-A, and snow cones. Also, the older girls got to sleep over at Aunt Cindy's and they stayed up till midnight watching Home!! On Sunday, we got to be there for the family dinner at Aunt Trisha. We all LOVED her yummy enchiladas and hearing about her trek as well as eating yummy dragon cake that Cindy had made. For Activity Days this month, we got to help plant flowers is Sister Beacham (the Primary President's) front yard and we also hiked to Lion's Mouth. Also, the girls and their friends had a lemonade stand in front of the Price house and made $4 each!  Jason had Father's Day and his 39th birthday this month that we got to celebrate - see his section for more details.

JASON: June was especially busy for Jason. He was basically working on his understaffed new job "unofficially" until his start date of the 25th as well as his old budget job. So - many days he was working 10-12 hours and wasn't getting home till very late. In addition, he has his new Elder's Quarum duties that filled a lot of his evenings, so we didn't get to see him a lot during the week :( He also had a meeting in Escalante this month. We are so thankful for all his hard work and dedication. He does so much for our family. The 19th was Father's Day and his menu selection included ebbelskeevers for breakfast, french toast (with homemade bread) for lunch, and roast with salted potatoes, rolls, and corn on the cob for dinner. Then apple crisp with vanilla bean ice cream for dessert :) The girls all made him cards and we got him some treats, too. For his birthday, we brought him Cafe Rio for lunch, along with balloons and a huge card. Then for dinner, we all went out to Applebees. Happy Birthday and Father's Day Jason!! We love you!

HEIDI: At almost 8 months pregnant, Heidi is "feeling it." :) She is trying hard to keep up with the girls and do fun things, but lots of exhaustion, especially with the heat. She has had fun with what she's been able to do, though, and is thankful that she's to the point where she can say "almost there!" She did a lot of shuttling to lessons this month - 2 different lessons for McKinley & swimming every day for 2 weeks for Kezia. She's thankful that's over with and July can be a little more relaxing. She has been reading Gone with the Wind and trying to find creative ways for the girls to not have contention now that they are around each other 24/7. She enjoyed visiting with Anna Packard when they went to SLC and she also really enjoyed the SIDS mom dinner - especially meeting 2 moms that she had connected with online, but never met in person. One somewhat humerous incident happened after our SIDS mom dinner. It was about 10:00 and Heidi's phone was dead when she pulled up to the gate at the Potts' place. She didn't know the code. She couldn't call because her phone was dead, so she decided to just go ahead & jump over the gate to the side of the big gate. It was an interesting feat with her pregnant belly, and she ripped a toenail, but she did it :) Hopefully whoever has that security tape got a good laugh out of it :)

McKINLEY:
-McKinley got to go to sewing camp this month and got to sew a bag, an owl pillow, and start a bib for the new baby. She learned a lot & used her sewing machine more than it's been used since she got it! She hopes to continue to use her skills for good :)
-She also attended Girls Go Digital for the 2nd year at SUU. This year it was 4 days instead of 2, so she got to learn even more than last year! She enjoyed seeing Dannon and Sopie was in her group, too. She also met a new girl, Leila, and she had fun!
-We made an angry bird pinata for make-it monday and when it was finally ready to smash, we got some friends together and all had a whack at it. Just before it was McKinley's turn, mom said "everyone PLEASE stand back more! I've been hit by a pinata stick & it isn't fun!" So, then McKinley swings at the pinata and WHACKS her mom right in the armpit. OUCH!!
-McKinley's old bike was too small & Ireland was riding it all the time, so we decided to get her a new one. The first one we got her was purple, and she liked it a lot, but something happened to the gears one day and it wouldn't work, so we returned it. She went back twice more to decide which bike to get. She finally decided on the "cuter" one, but now she's not sure she really likes that one, either :/ Hopefully she'll get used to it and change her mind. We love that she loves to ride her bike!
-McKinley and Karmiyah have played a LOT this month. Almost every day. They decided that they wanted to make a blanket for our friend's new baby (the Prices), so COMPLETELY all by themselves, they made a cute little blanket. It was so thoughtful!
-One evening the Prices & Johnsons decided they were going to have "dress up" night games. McKinley borrowed a blue dress from Karmiyah and they had fun playing over there.
-For Father's Day, McKinley sang "Daddy's Girl" by 1 Girl Nation to Jason. She had been practicing it for months and months and she did a beautiful job. Her daddy loved it.
IRELAND:
-Ireland decided to take the summer off for lessons, so she has had more time to play with friends, etc. She will start back up with gymnastics in the fall.
-Ireland has mostly played with Anna, Emmy, and Adelaide this summer so far. She loves to play Littlest Pet Shops with Addie.
-Mom and Ireland went to Kennady Hatch's baptism on the 11th, and as we were sitting there, mom looked over and saw 2 ladybugs in Ireland's hair!
-Ireland really loves hula-hooping and one night she went for 10 MINUTES STRAIGHT and could have kept going!
-One day Ireland took a cereal box and made a whole fairy apartment inside, complete with furniture, food, etc. It was so cute :)
-The day finally came this month! Ireland officially has BRACES! She has 4 on the top and 4 on the bottom. Now we just have to really keep reminding her to brush and floss her teeth and take really good care of her hardware. She looks so much more grown up now, though! :(
-While we were roasting marshmallows one night, Ireland stepped on a scalding hot dog stick and really burned the bottom of her foot :(
-Ireland has had some anger issues this month, including yelling mean things and throwing things and holding her breath and things like that to get "back" at mom. We are hoping to find a good therapist that can give some tools and understanding to help us out.
KEZIA:
-Kezia had swimming lessons this month and she had been looking forward to them for a LONG time. She had a girl teacher, but she was the only girl student with about 5 boys. She held her own, though, and did really well. She passed to level 2. Great job Kezia! It was also fun to see Jake & Courtney Riddle because they had lessons at the same time as Kezi :)
-One day McKinley was making a card for grandma and she was trying to come up with an "M" word. She was saying "Marvelous as a... " Kezia shouted out "MEATBALL!"
-Kezia had been riding around on the tiny 12'' bike, which was way too small for her, but her daddy finally fixed the 16'' bike, which fits her so much better & she was so happy!
-Kezi was riding her scooter in the front one day, and saw that Noelle was getting in the road, so she put it down in our neighbor (the Schoppmann's) driveway and went to help her sister. Unfortunately, she forgot about her scooter & Brooke accidentally ran it over. Kezia was a sad little girl. It still kind of works, but not very well :(
-Kezia has played a lot with Anna and Adelaide. In fact, Anna is 9, but Kezia likes to invite her over to play a LOT :)


LINK:
We have seen some pretty awesome rainbows this month and are so happy whenever we see them because we automatically think of you, sweet boy. Mom did a VERY hard thing this month and went through your clothes again. She sent some to Aunt Tiffany for your cousin Max, and she sent a couple to the lady that makes the bears for Noelle and your new sister. It took a lot of tears and heartbreak, but she is thankful that your clothes are getting used & we're pretty sure you are glad, too. Now, the next step is to make a quilt out of the remaining clothes :) It was wonderful to share your story and your pictures with my other SIDS mom friends. I love to talk about you, my beloved Link. Please keep watching over your new sister and help us come up with a name!

NOELLE:
-Our sweet girl. Sometimes your smarts just completely catch us off guard! You are using words like "delicious" and "wonderful" and "beautiful" It's so adorable. And you are growing too fast!!
-Noelle has just started randomly saying people she loves. We'll be driving in the car and she will say "I love Karmiyah." "I love Anna" "I love Grandma" "I love Grandpa." It's SO cute!
-For a while, Noelle was calling band-aids "angers" for a while. She would come inside with an owie and say "I need an anger." We're not exactly sure where that came from, but she uses it a lot because she LOVES band-aids!
-Another common phrase lately has been "Watch me mom!" or "Look at me mom!" as she puts on dress up or tries to do a somersault or goes down her slide. She also has been saying "take a picture, mom!"
-Noelle REALLY wants to be big like her sisters. Whenever they are outside, she can't stand being inside, even though she keeps running into the street, making mom crazy and stressed. She loves to ride her red wiggle car while they ride their bikes. She still can't quite reach the peddles on her tricycle, but she's close! And then we'll REALLY be in trouble!
-Noelle has started to really love to be things other than a little girl. She will say "I'm a frog! Ribbit Ribbit!" and hop around or "I'm a dog! and she will bark and crawl.
-Noelle has learned the art of tattling from her sisters :) She has come to mom and said "Ireland hit me!" or "Kezia pushed me!" with a VERY sad look on her face. Unfortunately, she's also learned to do the hitting and pushing from her sisters, too, so it's usually not one-sided anymore :(
-The past couple weeks, our fantastic eater & sleeper has disappeared!! :( Not only does she hardly ever want what mom makes for dinner anymore (she won't even try ONE bite!), she has decided that she doesn't really need a nap! 2 or 3 times, she has just had to go without one after crying for an hour or more. And nights have even started to be difficult, too! We are REALLY hoping this is a VERY short phase and she is back to being a solid eater AND sleeper before her baby sister comes!


Saturday, June 4, 2016

May Newsletter & Slideshow

https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipMSWAnV8-fHI5x4Vr_ZwGyL5c5f08rrqqFjWK0Z

Hamilton Family Newsletter
May 2016

FAMILY: May is always a busy, fun month for us - we survived another school year! Yay!! Kezia made it through Kindergarten with Mrs. Ekker, Ireland finished 3rd grade with Mrs. Strother & McKinley completed 4th with Mr. Sahagun. They all had a good year and did wonderful.  The 2nd was North Elementary's Art Night. Ireland performed Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 with the rest of her class and McKinley worked as a leadership team member to help direct people. We bought their artwork & got to have a treat there, too :)  On the 10th, we all attended the YW fundraiser spaghetti dinner at the church. It's always fun to see our friends and watch the dessert auction at the end. The 12th was Heidi & Jason's 16th anniversary & they went out to dinner at Sonny Boy's BBQ :) That evening the Simon family came for a visit! We had lots of fun with them, including going to the Lake at the Hills, hiking in Zions, having a movie night downstairs, and having a backyard S'more fest. It was so fun to have them here & the girls loved to play with them. Saturday the 14th was Kezia's last soccer game and Grandma Devenish, Grandpa Devenish, Aunt Kim, Hayden & Canyon came to see it! She did great & scored a few goals, too! Afterwards, we all went out to eat at Arctic Circle. Grandma Potts & GG came to visit on the 19th and we enjoyed seeing them while they were here! We also had a Share BBQ the night of the 19th & it was great to eat and visit with fellow loss families.  The evening of the 20th, we had the missionaries over for dinner & enjoyed hearing about one Elder who lived in Canada and had served in PEI just after Heidi & Jason were there. We headed up north on Thursday evening, the 26th and attended Kalli's high school graduation on the morning of the 27th. We are so proud of her & excited to see what life brings her way! Afterwards, we went to the Edwards for a little party and then we all headed up to Mapleton Canyon. This year we seemed to have especially good weather & really enjoyed our time up there - as fragmented as it was. Another wonderful thing for us was that RB let us stay in the trailer he bought from us, so it was fun for us to spend some time in that trailer where we have really good memories. So, we stayed in Mapleton Friday night through Saturday evening. We headed back to the Potts' for the night, took showers & headed to the Edwards early Sunday to attend their church and Michael's priesthood ordination. A BBQ at the Edwards afterwards was fun! and then we headed back up to Mapleton :) We stayed overnight on Sunday and then helped pack up on Monday. Heidi & Jason headed to their belated anniversary get-away at a bed & breakfast in American Fork & Grandma & Grandpa took the kids back to their house for the night. Heidi & Jason enjoyed going to the movies (X-Men, apocolypse), out to eat (Paradise Bakery & Rodizio Grill), and relaxing at the bed & breakfast. It was very relaxing. Thank you Grandma & Grandpa for helping out! Monday afternoon, we headed to Murray and helped for a few hours with moving Grandma & Grandpa Potts to their new home in Midvale. We will miss their Murray home, but are excited for their upcoming life changes! Other than all that fun, Jason & Heidi have been keeping busy with the rental. Our downstairs renters moved out and we have been trying to salvage the yard as well as get new renters. Thankfully, we found some renters at the end of the month - yay!!

JASON: Jason has been Mr. Super-man this month! He has been so busy at work. He finished his detail, but applied for the permanent position and in the interm was doing both his budget analyst position and filling in for the detail position. So - he's been working long hours! Thankfully, at the very end of the month we found out that he got the promotion to the permanent GS-11 Administrative Operations Specialist position. YAY!!! WE ARE SO PROUD OF HIM! Way to go! After working hard for 5 years at the Dixie, we feel humbled & blessed and proud of Jason for all his hard work. The Forest Supervisor, Ange, was very praiseworthy in her announcement of his new position. :) In addition to extra work, he's been working hard at the rental, putting in new sprinkling systems, mowing, etc. And in addition to THAT, he was just called as the Elders Quorum President in our ward. He has just called his counsolers and is excited to work with them.

HEIDI: Heidi's month has been busy shuttling kids and going to end-of-year school events with the girls, as well as coordinating new carpet for the downstairs rental, listing it, and showing it. Mother's Day was at the beginning of the month & Heidi enjoyed the church program, the sweet treats, and daddy's dinner (which mom chose) of lettuce wraps - yum! - and asphalt pie for dessert! She got lots of wonderful homemade cards, too. They were so sweet. & daddy got her flowers. On the 20th, Heidi had carpal tunnel surgery on her left hand & it went well. She is glad both hands are done & feels like it has really helped & will continue to help make this 3rd trimester bearable :) We also got a new mattress so that has helped with hip, shoulder and wrist pain. She's already feeling very large and has gotten her fair share of "any day now?" comments.) Heidi got a jury summons at the end of the month, but thankfully after writing a letter to the judge asking for an excusal, she was granted one. This time at least! She enjoyed going to a baby shower for her friend Hannah Price, who is having a "surprise baby" at 40 & needed some extra things. She also has been busy with the Relief Society Activity Committee (they called a new group) and Activity Days. And she has LOVED that Cindy, Trisha, and mom have all visited her in the past month! It's been so fun be with them :)

McKINLEY:
-McKinley has really enjoyed 4th grade and is sad to be done with Mr. Sahagun's class. She has Mrs. Isom for next year (a new teacher), and is excited to be in her last year of elementary school this fall.
-McKinley continues to excel at piano and has learned some really fun pieces this month, including Splish Splash and the Looney Tunes theme song.
-She has been busy with the Leadership Team this month, including Teacher appreciation, helping with Arts night, and helping with the introduction night for those new students from 3 Peaks Elementary who will be coming to North next year.
-
 We are so proud of McKinley for being a member missionary and inviting her school friend, Madison, to church! She brought her on the 15th and it was her first time coming to an LDS church. We hope she will come again!
-McKinley's big project this month was doing a report on Duchesne County. She did it all online and it turned out really good & she learned a lot! (even if it meant staying up late for a couple nights)
-One day in the car, McKinley asked dad if he was a tender or a bass. :) We explained that it's TENOR not tender, but tender does describe Jason, too :)
IRELAND:
-Ireland had fun memorizing Shakespeare's 18th sonnet & did really well at arts night. For her artwork, she made a shield with all the things she enjoys, like gymnastics, the 4th of July, friends, pizza, babies and mom :)
-Ireland had a poetry picnic at the beginning of May that mom & Noelle came to. Her poetry book was fantastic and well-done. After reading her poetry, Ireland loved to take Noelle around the class & show off her baby sister to her classmates :)
-Ireland is excited to finish 3rd grade! She's excited for her birthday this summer & excited to be able to get Mr. Sahagun for a teacher next year!
-For field day, Ireland won 5th place in the overall 3rd grade girls race! And she did it in sandals! Way to go Ireland - McKinley was a proud sister :)
-Mom got cherries from the store one day & Ireland decided it would be fun to cut them in half and squeeze the juice on her eyelids to make eyeliner. It worked! But was a bit sticky and messy!
KEZIA:
-Kezia was sad for Kindergarten to end. One night, mom and dad found a note on their bed that said "I am going to miss Mrs. Ekker and my bus driver Lois soooooooooooooooooo much :(" Currently, Kezia is 2nd on the waiting list for East Elementary, so we are really hopeful that she will get in and be able to be in the Spanish immersion program.
-Kezia's Kindergarten program was on the 16th & she did SUCH a great job! :) It was really fun to watch her and take pictures. The songs were all really fun & we are glad that daddy got to see it, too!
-Kezia's friend, Macie, had a party on her last day of Kindergarten. It was Kezia, Macie, Ruby, and Courtney. They had fun playing in the water and having a picnic.
-Kezia's soccer team, Purple Power, finished their season and did GREAT! The last game was close, but we think she had another winning season with no losses! Kezia's gotten a lot better with ball control and keeping on her feet. She is very aggressive and fast. It was so fun that the Devenishs & Reeds came to support her in her last game. Way to go Kezia!
-Kezia has had a hard time lately staying in her room after we put her to bed. She loves to make notes and things and deliver them after she goes to bed.


LINK:
We have felt you close lately, our sweet son. We saw FOUR different rainbows on the way to Mapleton and it was SO neat! We love you so much and miss you so much!!

NOELLE:
-Noelle is a slippery, fast toddler and has really given us some scares this month! One time while we were at Kezia's soccer game, McKinley was playing with Noelle on the playground for a while and one time mom looked up and didn't see her. She went over to find her and a lady brought her over and said she was in the river! Another time we were at the Lake at the Hills. She had her life jacket on, but tripped at was head-down in the water. We are so thankful that both times she was protected and watched over & is just fine, but we wish we didn't have the scares at all :(
-Noelle continues to LOVE Daniel Tiger's neighborhood. She's been saying "Grrr-ific!" and "Tiger-tastic!" a lot. SO cute!
-Mom was trying to brush Noelle's teeth one night & she found dad's floss. She called it her "egg" and when she opened it, she said "surprise!!"
-Just in the past couple weeks, Noelle has REALLY been fighting getting her hair fixed. It is a full-on workout to get her to hold still long enough to get even one elastic in there!!
-Noelle has started climbing her changing table to get on top of it and/or in her crib. We finally decided to move it and hopefully it will give us a few more months of her not being able to climb in or, especially, out of it.
-Noelle loves the Go Dogs Go! Book & has applied it to real-life driving. When we are coming up on a light, she will stay "go car go! The light is green!" or "stop car, stop! The light is red!" It's so adorable :)
-Noelle has learned how to strap the chest strap on her carseat!
-Noelle LOVES the bunny, Rainbow Truck. Seriously. Loves him. He's in the garage right now & it's hard to get her in the car or into the house because all she wants to do is see the bunny. And if you leave her in there for longer than a minute or two, she has figured out how to get that heavy lid off & Rainbow Truck OUT. A few times, she's come in the house with that bunny & mom's allergies have NOT been happy. We're not entirely sure Rainbow Truck has been happy, either, with all the squeezing and pulling.
-Noelle's sisters obviously adore her to no end. They get her to copy them a lot & lately it's been "I am very, very, very, very, very CUTE!!"
-One day, Noelle told mom "take a picture!" :)

- Noelle still struggles with ONLY drawing on paper. While she was being watched at the Potts, she found a permanent marker and had fun on their newly painted walls :( They were moving the next day or so, so they had to re-paint where she drew :( Naughty, naughty girl!